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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

Does smoking increase your risk of heart disease?

Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries leading to a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can result in angina, heart attack or a stroke. The chemicals involved in tobacco smoke damage your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis.



Blockage in the Heart: Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which a waxy substance known as plaque builds up in the arteries. Smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels.  Chemicals in the cigarette smoke cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries. Blockage from a clot can lead to a heart attack and sudden death.

Heart Disease & Cigarette Smoking:

Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death. It accounts for more than 440,000 of the more than 2.4 million annual deaths. Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders. These include fatty buildups in arteries so many types of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems).

Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries) is a chief contributor to the high number of deaths from smoking. Many cases elaborate the evidence that cigarette smoking is an important cause of coronary heart disease which leads to heart attack. Cigarette smoking accounts for about one-fifth of all deaths from heart disease. Smokers have a two to fourfold increase in coronary artery disease and about a 70 percent higher death rate from coronary artery disease than do nonsmokers.